The country legend counts her many blessings for PEOPLE

By Steve Helling
August 28, 2015 08:55 PM
Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Whenever Dolly Parton travels to Los Angeles, she makes sure to pack the essentials.

“I always put on a little makeup,” she says. “I never know who’s gonna come to my door. But if I’m in L.A., I put on full makeup in case an earthquake comes and I have to run out into the streets. I want to be able to say, ‘Yeah, my house fell down, but don’t I look good?’ ”

Parton, 69, realizes that she has lived a blessed life – and she counts some of those blessings in the newest episode of PEOPLE.

Here are some other things she is thankful for:

America
“I thank God that I live in a country where you can come from nothing and become something,” she says. “You can really start low and scratch your way to the top in this country, if you’re willing to pay the price.”

Helping Hands
“I’m grateful for the people who God put in my path to help my dreams come true,” she says. “Porter Waggoner gave me my first really big shot. There are others, too. Whether it’s a manager or an agent, you need to be grateful and not begrudge them their percentage. You gotta pay your dues like you gotta pay your tithes!”

My Drive
“I’m thankful that so many of my dreams have come true,” she says. “I m like a horse with blinders. If I ve got a dream, I m going to follow it and find all the ways to make it happen. You gotta put legs, arms and wings on your dreams. You can t just hope it and think it s gonna happen. You gotta work it.”

For more on Parton’s blessings – including her thoughts on her husband and family – pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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